Two base TvZ metagame

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There is a recent trend for a two base metagame in TvZ. Both INnoVation and Heart had shown various two base all-ins in GSL and WCS America respectively.

A typical TvZ revolves heavily around the third Command Centre. It does not matter if you do an early three Command Centre build or other aggressive options, you converge to a three base economy early on. Even a two base aggressive build will eventually shape back to three Command Centre. The two base TvZ metagame I’m discussing in this post does not get a third, or at least it is not part of the original plan. You can think of it as a two base Protoss.

The key difference between the previous two base oriented aggressive build and the one I’m discussing in this post is the convergent point. If Terran decide not to get a third, the convergent point on two base is as followed

– 5x Barracks
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport

If you constantly produce units from these buildings, there will not be 400 mineral floating for a third Command Centre. If you decide to get a third eventually, the most aggressive two base convergent point you can do is the same as above but with only three Barracks. The aim of these two is also different. A two base aggressive build is aiming to kill opponent’s third while getting a third behind that. The current one is an all-in.

INnoVation used a two base all-in build against soO in the GSL Grand Final recently twice (game 1 and game 3). It revolves around a Tank heavy push.

He opened with a Command Centre first into Reactor Hellion. A second Refinery was taken while the Factory was building. I was expecting a Banshee or Hellbat variant build. A Starport was built immediately after the Factory, and this usually means Banshee. A Medivac was produced instead, while a pair of Widow Mines was produced in place of the second pair of Hellions. Without the early second Refinery, there won’t be enough gas to get a Medivac and a pair of Widow Mines at that timing. So I thought it was an interesting change since INnoVation is famous for playing completely standard. The subsequent build order was a surprise to me. Tank production and more Barracks was the follow up. Still, at that point, you could go back to the three Command Centre economy after you push out. But the 4th and 5th Barracks just made it an all-in. This build was used in Catallena and King Sejong Station where both have a place to abuse the Tank push. A pretty good strategy with a big surprise factor in my opinion.

Heart did various two base all-in in WCS America against Scarlett (Game 1 and 3) and Hyun (Game 1).

Heart opened up in a standard manner with Reaper expand, and shaped up to a two base all-in with the above convergent point. I think the build used in game 3 of Scarlett and game 1 of Hyun is the best two base all-in build. I will write about it in details in the next post.

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2 thoughts on “Two base TvZ metagame

  1. Your observation is completly right. But what is the reason for the change in the meta?
    I tried to think about the reason behind it and came to the solution that it is because Zergs were very aggressive for a long time.
    You saw a lot of roach timings and two base play from zerg, which are overall fine in the current mappool.

    Greetz

    1. It’s hard to draw causal inference. With that being said, INnoVation’s two base build is pretty good against Roach Bane all-in with the earlier Tanks. Heart’s simply is standard, so it’s just as vulnerable as other more main stream build.

      Perhaps it is just an innovation to shake up the current metagame. Zerg has been quite comfortable with the early-mid game transition.

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